Author: iercan

Yeni Akit: Vile Scandal at Koç University! Immoralists walking around half-naked

Yeni Akit is a conservative daily newspaper that engages in hate speech against LGBTI people and other groups. This is a verbatim translation. 

The latest images from Koç University show their state of moral corruption.

koc-universitesinde-rezalet-ahlaksizlar-yari-ciplak-geziyor-h1491401288-d07539.png

Source: “Koç Üniversitesi’nde rezalet! Ahlaksızlar yarı çıplak geziyor,” Yeni Akit, 5 April 2017, http://www.yeniakit.com.tr/haber/koc-universitesinde-rezalet-ahlaksizlar-yari-ciplak-geziyor-296775.html

Scandalous images continue to emerge from time to time from universities who are tasked with training the younger generation to become individuals who are of use to the country. The latest example comes from Koç University. Images taken at Koç University, where thousands of students are completing their higher education, sheds light on the last point of immorality in the university. The images show students freely walking around half-naked on campus. While people who see the images are amazed at how these images transcend the boundaries of morality and decency within the campus, they also question the capability of such an institution to raise a generation based on national and moral values.

They are injecting perversion in educational institutions

The student, who can be seen in the images with the egregious stockings, turns out to be a member of the perverted homosexual LGBT community. It is almost as if by allowing the perverts to walk around the university so freely, the institution is playing to the hands of those who are trying to put immorality into the educational institutions.

Students and parents are uncomfortable with the scandalous images

While the unscrupulous images of Koç University disturb many students studying at the university, it also worries parents who are trying their hardest to enable their children to go to a university. Parents are expecting the authorities to take action as soon as possible.

The images are so disgraceful that we can only publish photos by blurring them. We will present the photographs in their original form in the case that competent authorities take action.

Kaos GL: Ian McKellen said “as a gay man,” translator ignored!

Sir Ian McKellen was presented an award by the Istanbul Film Festival. During his speech at the opening gala he said, “as an openly gay man” but the translator didn’t translate it into Turkish.

Editor’s note: See the festival’s response here.

Source: Yıldız Tar, “Ian McKellen said ‘as a gay man’, interpreter ignored!” Kaos GL, April 5 2017, http://kaosgl.org/page.php?id=23476

ianmckellenodultoreni.jpg

Organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), Istanbul Film Festival’s 36th edition kicked off with an opening gala on Tuesday night, April 4. The opening gala brought the stars and distinguished figures of Turkish cinema together at TİM Show Center where Cinema Honorary Awards and plaques were presented.

Sir Ian McKellen was one of the actors who won an award. During his speech at the gala he said, “as an openly gay man”. However, the translator of the festival ignored this phrase. LGBTI activist Seçil Epik told KaosGL.org what happened during the gala:

“After being invited to the stage by Kerem Ayan, one of the coordinators of Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts Film Festival, to receive his Honorary Award, Ian McKellen started to introduce himself by saying that he is 78, born in England and that he identified himself as an actor from Great Britain. Then he continued his speech with the words “as an openly gay man”, but the simultaneous translator did not translate those words into Turkish. First Kerem Ayan on stage, then the audience who speak English were in a little bit of a shock. Subsequently, even if Ian McKellen understood that something went wrong with the translation and looked at the translator, the program flow continued as if nothing had happened.”

Murathan Mungan: Great shame!

Famous poet and author Murathan Mungan shared the incident from his social media account:

“A great shame happened during the opening gala of the Istanbul Film Festival. As a gay rights activist as well as a great actor, Ian Mckellen started his sentence while mentioning the bans on Turkey and said, “As an openly gay man” however simultaneous interpreter skipped this sentence, censored it. It is worrisome that even in the Istanbul Film Festival organization there are ‘morality guards’ regarding the internalization of fear, oppression, anxiety and homophobia.”

McKellen’s Istanbul program

One of the most beloved actors of the screen and theatre with his outstanding performances in Richard III, Gods and Monsters, Lord of the Rings series and X-Men, Sir Ian McKellen has also been the ambassador of British Council’s Shakespeare Lives programme in 2016 Opens in a new tab or window.

Sir Ian McKellen will be the guest of Istanbul Film Festival by IKSV and receive a cinema honorary award. Sir McKellen will also be meeting LGBT groups to support equality.

Editor’s Note: Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts tweeted the following response after Kaos GL’s story.

“An incorrect perception that honorary guest of the 36. @ist_filmfest Sir Ian McKellen’s speech during the opening ceremony was censored.”

“We would like to express that the hitch in the translation @ist_filmfest was caused by sound not reaching the stage during the speech and was not intentional.”

Yeni Akit: Perversion at Robert College

Yeni Akit is a conservative daily newspaper that engages in hate speech against LGBTI people and other groups. This is a verbatim translation. 

The gay-lesbianism perversion injected by the evil powers doing all they can to play with genetic codes of Muslim Turkish society has now reached as far as schools.

null

Source: Faruk Arslan, “Robert Koleji’nde Sapkınlık,” Yeni Akit, March 31 2017, http://www.yeniakit.com.tr/haber/robert-kolejinde-sapkinlik-294788.html

The gay-lesbianism perversion injected by the evil powers doing all they can to play with genetic codes of Muslim Turkish society has now reached as far as schools. It has come to light that the American Robert College has designated the dates March 27-31 as “Gay and Homosexual Week.” It has been discovered that the week-long activities that involve movies, books and competitions that all aim to transfer the homosexual perversion to high school students were organized by the U.S. educators Marshall Hoover and Joe Welch.

THEY WILL INJECT “HOMOSEXUALITY” TO HIGH-SCHOOL STUDENTS

Robert College did not make a prior announcement for the activities involved in the “Gay and Homosexual Week” and allegedly organized it without approval of the Ministry of Education, informing the teachers via direct email. It has been reported that Robert College, which is rooted abroad, designated the theme of this week’s activities organized under Alliance/Solidarity Week as homosexuality. The American Robert College, joining the chorus of perverts that represent the disease of homosexuality as a normal human condition, has added 25 homosexuality-related books to its library collection. The covers of related books are marked with the rainbow symbol, which represents these perverts called LGBT. The email that Robert College sent to its teachers included the following statements about the LGBT books: “Have we skipped any books? Let us know and we will mark their covers. We have also prepared a jar for you to notify us about books on this subject that are not in our library.” It was reported that a big rainbow image for students to take pictures under was prepared at the College.

null

THE HOMO COMPETITION AND PRIZE

A competition about homosexuals was organized in the part of Robert College known as Marble Hall. Robert College prepared a board with pictures of “famous” homosexuals and asked students to write the names of the perverts on the picture with a ballot. It was announced that the students who can answer the most questions will win a “fabulous prize.”

THEY HAD A 17 YEAR OLD GIVE A PRESENTATION ON HOMOSEXUALITY

An information desk was also set up at the school. At the desk, students’ questions on homosexuality were addressed, and homosexuality was praised. Robert College did not stop there. During “Gay and Homosexual Week,” an 11th grader named Kaan Tarhan gave a presentation on “biological causes of homosexuality.” The perverts’ presentation, that they had a high school student give, took place in the teachers’ lounge called “Gould Hall.”

IMMORAL MOVIES

The Robert College’s homosexuality activities today (Thursday) will include movie screenings. The students will be shown two movies involving obscene scenes related with gay and lesbianism at Robert College, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Education. At 3PM the “Geography Club,” at 6PM Ferzan Özpetek’s “Loose Cannons” movie on the story of a gay man’s struggle with his family and friends who do not accept him will be screened. In order to increase the attendance to these obscene movies, the Robert College administration announced that various snacks will be served during the screenings.

THEY CONFINED THEMSELVES TO SILENCE

The Robert College authorities to whom we referred regarding the subject were allegedly not available and have refrained from making any statement.

They tried to put the LGBTI activist Kıvılcım Arat in a men’s detention cell!

Arat is in custody in Atatürk airport.

Source: T24, “Gözaltına alınan LGBTİ aktivisti Kıvılcım Arat’ı nezarethanede erkek bölümüne koymaya çalıştılar!” (They tried to hold the LGBTI activist Kıvılcım Arat in men’s detainment room!), 17 March 2017, http://t24.com.tr/haber/gozaltina-alinan-lgbti-aktivisti-kivilcim-arati-nezarethanede-erkek-bolumune-koymaya-calistilar,394365

page_gozaltina-alinan-lgbti-aktivisti-kivilcim-arati-nezarethanede-erkek-bolumune-koymaya-calistilar_481651558.jpg
Trans activist
Kıvılcım Arat’s lawyer met her after she was taken into custody in Istanbul Atatürk International Airport and said they tried to put her in a men’s detention cell, but following an argument she was put in a single cell. Arat is detained for “not testifying in an investigation.”

According to a news report by KaosGL’s Yıldız Tar, following Istanbul LGBTİ Board Member trans activist Kıvılcım Arat’s detention in Atatürk Airport’s International Terminal today (March 17), her lawyer Aylin Kırıkçı met with Arat.

In an interview with KaosGL.org, lawyer Kırıkçı mentioned that they have not been informed on the content of the case file leading to the detention and made the following statement:

“Currently, we do not know the content of the case file, however, when we look into her GBT [General Information Gathering System — Trans.] record, we see that she was supposed to testify in a court case which led to an arrest warrant. It is unclear what she was going to testify about and in which court case. As her lawyers, we tried to contact the district attorney to start the process for her testimony but we could not reach them. Due to our client’s health problems the testimony was supposed to be taken today, but was not, because we could not reach the district attorney.”

They tried to put her in a men’s detention cell

Kırıkçı mentioned that Arat is held at the Atatürk Airport Police Station, and is expected to give her testimony to the district attorney tomorrow morning (March 18). Kırıkçı added that, even though Arat is a trans woman, they tried to hold her in a men’s detention cell:

“Even though my client is a trans women, they tried to put her in a men’s detention cell where 20 men are kept. Following Kıvılcım’s objection and an argument she was not put in the men’s area. Currently, she is kept in a single cell.”

She sent a message from detention

Arat sent a message with her lawyer. Her message emphasized solidarity.

“Just to spite those who try to call whistleblowing into in our spaces of solidarity, we will continue to fight, stick together, stand shoulder to shoulder.”

20170317221028_kivomesaj.jpg

Editor’s note: Kıvılcım Arat was released from detention on March 18.

Istanbul LGBTI’s Kıvılcım Arat is taken into custody

Istanbul LGBTI’s trans activist Kıvılcım Arat was taken into custody at Istanbul Atatürk Airport International Terminal. Arat, whose detainment reason is unknown, was on her way to a women’s rights conference.

Source: Yıldız Tar, “İstanbul LGBTİ’den Kıvılcım Arat gözaltına alındı” (“Istanbul LGBTI’s Kıvılcım Arat is taken into custody”), 17 March 2017, Kaos GL, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=23328

kivilcimarat.jpg

Istanbul LGBTI Association Board Member and trans activist Kıvılcım Arat was taken into custody at Istanbul Atatürk Airport International Terminal.

While Arat’s detainment reason is unknown, Zelal Demir of Istanbul LGBTI told KaosGL.org that the lawyers are on their way to meet Arat. Demir added that they are neither informed on the reason for detainment nor the location of the station in which Arat is held, and continued with the following statement:

“Fight for rights cannot be restrained by detentions!”

“We are not informed on the detainment reason of our friend, our comrade, our board member Kıvılcım Arat, although, we are going through times that a large number of human rights defenders are facing detainment. We demand Kıvılcım to be released. Fight for rights cannot be restrained by detentions. We stand by our friend.”

Today, Arat was on her way to a women’s rights conference in Germany. It is believed that she is taken into custody whilst she was in line for passport control.

We will continue to report on the details…

Editor’s note: Kıvılcım Arat was released from detention on March 18.

“Families in Turkey see their kids as their possession”

We talked with the parents whose kids are homosexual, about the concept of family, alternative family experiences in Turkey and their adventures that started with their kids coming out to them.

Source: Yıldız Tar, “Türkiye’de aileler çocuklarını malları gibi görüyor” (“Families in Turkey see their kids as their possession”), 19 February, 2015 KaosGL,  http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=18792

omersule2Ömer and Şule

On one hand it is a warm nest, on the other it’s everyone’s trouble without exception: Family. We talked about family, a world of secrets nested in secrets, with two mothers and two fathers who have torn these secrets apart.

On the one hand Şule and Ömer who embarked upon the adventure of their life years ago, after finding out that their son is gay; on the other hand is Buzul and Kaya who has only recently faced this fact.

The transformation of the family known as a safe haven, friendships that go beyond kinship, a mother who drew the curtains when she first found out her son was gay, a father who says “I don’t know who I thought about the most”, new kinships and friendships built through LGBT Friends and Families of LGBTIs in Turkey (LISTAG)

The stories of those who say “A different family is possible”, stories of  taking a step towards emancipation, of reconstructing the family, of questioning themselves…

lgbttaileler_ist1.jpg

What does family mean? What comes to your mind when we say family?

Buzul: My nuclear family comes to my mind. It’s made up of the people I can’t live without; with whom I  would like to realize my wishes. A more autonomous, freer environment comes to mind. I’m talking about creating a more cheerful and enjoyable space.

Kaya:  I can define the family as before and after my son told us he is gay. Before, it was a safe haven, a castle for me. I saw family as something solely made up of blood ties. Afterwards I realized that it wasn’t only blood ties. The definition in my head keeps changing. I realize that it doesn’t necessarily have to be about blood ties.

What did you feel when your son first came out? What happened to the family you call a safe haven and a castle?

Kaya:  Frankly, I don’t know what I felt the first time I heard it. It was as if there was a great explosion and I was in shock, didn’t know what to do. I don’t know whether I thought about him or my wife more. Our son is abroad and wrote about his sexual orientation in a letter. When I first read the letter, I told my wife Buzul “Nothing is going to be the same. Our life passed onto a new phase.” After that we talked about what we should do. Our son gave us some information about LİSTAG and Lambdaistanbul in his letter. My wife called immediately. My first feeling was despair.

“My first reflex was to draw the curtains”

Buzul, you were to first call LISTAG. You called and someone answered the phone. What did you feel during that first conversation?

Buzul: I’m lucky that a calm person answered the phone. I had someone who was similar to me emotionally.They were talking with a calm voice, explaining the situation to me in a casual manner. It gave me confidence. I wanted to talk face to face immediately that day. I had to see, we had to be face to face. When my son first told me, I thought that he assumed being that way. I interpreted it as a confusion.

It was a hard day for me that day. I opened the letter first. I talked on the phone first. We actually talked about a detail about that day recently. The letter came in a decorated blue envelope. I thought it was a card from my son for my birthday. He had been holding off on our relationship for a while so I thought he sent it for my birthday. I was all alone when I first read it. My first reaction was to draw the curtains. I got into a terrible crying fit. Then I couldn’t really predict how my husband would react. I started thinking about that.

I called my husband. When he insisted to know what’s going on, I was forced to tell him. Later when he came home crying I was more composed. When I saw his reaction, I pulled myself together. I was scared for my husband. He has high blood pressure and heart problems. It was a weird state of mind. I first thought about the boy. Then myself. And when I saw my husband, I came to my senses thinking, “Pull yourself together, the boy and the man need you.”

“I found out how we have been fooled until today”

Ömer and Şule, you told about your experiences on different occasions. Therefore I’d like to ask what changed in your life. Şule, what changed in your life after your son told you he is homosexual? Has Şule remained the same?

Şule: I’m in a very different place right now. Most importantly, my relationship with my son is in another dimension. We’ve always been very good but there were secrets between us. He couldn’t open up to me. I knew things about him but I acted like I didn’t know. I couldn’t face myself. Afterwards I was liberated. After LISTAG, in each talk I had with a new person I noticed that burdens were lifted off my shoulders.

Aside from me and my son’s process, my life has changed a lot too. I started looking around more carefully. I have realized how many people were pushed away, othered, discriminated against. There hadn’t been any place for them in my protected life up to that point. I even doubted their existence. Some people lived some place but I didn’t know how they lived. I learned about different opinions of different people. I saw how we have been fooled until today. Especially with Gezi resistance, I saw how much of a liar the media was. I witnessed how my experience at the part was twisted on the media. After that day I decided not to watch TV anymore. I was naive before, I believed. I thought the great media would not lie.

What do you think about this Ömer?

Ömer:  After coming out Öner wanted to talk to me but I always ran away. So he started to leave Kaos GL magazine and some articles around. After reading those, I started talking with my son. When we first went to CETAD, I was saying “I’ve accepted this” but we were giving interviews with nicknames, avoiding to have our photos taken. When I gave an interview with my photo on November 2010 I realized that I hadn’t accepted but only learnt. After that day, my process of acceptance started.

An individual’s life is only his/her business. Ever since I was a kid, I have always stood against my father, the school, my bosses. I was a rebel. This is how I evaluated my son’s coming out and his sexual orientation. As I learned, I started touching people, relating to them. Touching gave me great joy. Helping even one person is an immense pleasure.

Throughout your experiences at LİSTAG and your years long activism, did the concept of “family” change in your mind? What comes to Ömer and Şule’s minds when they hear the word “family”? Who do you visualize?

Ömer: Not much has changed for me but my ideas. As I look at other families, as I question the concept of family, I came to think that the institution of family in Turkey is a great problem.  My perspective was enhanced. Families in Turkey see their kids as their possession. It’s not something I experienced personally but families intervene, saying “It’s for their good, otherwise they would make mistakes.” And who is to know that you won’t make mistakes? Everyone needs to be free individuals and give their own decisions.  If my child ask my opinion, I would tell them but s/he doesn’t have to do what I say. A different family is possible, but today’s family structure is not healthy. It’s detrimental to both the children and the parents. Families should not be built on relations of interest. Parents should do nothing more that building an environment where children can create their personalities freely. I don’t think family has anything to do with blood ties. I for once, see LİSTAG more than I see Öner.

I used to think only children should be free but I add women to this list as I see the violence and oppression against women. Men should be reliberated. Men are burdened in the institution of family too. They say “men don’t cry” for instance…Men are supposed to be strong. What’s that got to do with anything? Men are emotional too, they cry. All individuals must be liberated, collectively.

Şule: I’d like to emphasize the importance of the family as we know it, as formed of mother,father and child. We spoke to many kids and I saw that coming out to family is very important. Many LGBTI children seek acceptance from their parents and family. On the one hand they say “a different family is possible” but on the other they want to come out to their families and be respected by them.

“I’d like to come out to my family just like my child did”

Buzul, what do you think? Is a different family possible? What is this different family like?

Buzul: These ideas are flying around in my head. I can’t say anything clearly yet. But basically a happy and a peaceful life. I envied the LGBTI parents who came to the family meetings with their siblings or their mothers. A part of me expects acceptance like the children who come out and are not accepted. I’m wondering how my own parents will react to my child’s sexual orientation.

Your child came out to you and now you want to come out to your own family as the mother of a homosexual child…

Buzul: I ask myself why I want such a thing. If being homosexual is something sexual; and people don’t talk about their sexuality why should you be forced to explain it when you are homosexual? In the same manner, why must I explain my child’s sexuality? But if anything happens to me, I want to teach my relatives a thing or two, so that they won’t harass my child. I became a liar in this process. I’m an educator and I tell my ideas about the film “My child” coming to our school. It’s like slowly we are coming out. On the other hand, why am I doing this like I’m giving an account for it? I guess my experience is very similar to what homosexual children go through.

As I got in touch with youth thanks to LİSTAG, I met various types of families. Through the young people coming to the association I notice different types of families. You can become a family with your dog. My parents disappeared in my head. My mother and father are still precious to me but I called all LISTAG mothers last Mother’s Day. I look at my son and his friends, their worldview carried me forward.

Let’s ask the father as well, if people heard your son is gay what would they say?

Kaya: I’m a person of rationality, emotions come much later for me. Lately,  I’m thinking of settling accounts with family in my mind. I’m wondering what kind of reflex my own mother, father and relatives will develop. I want this encounter for myself. This way I can clean my environment. I will be free of people who don’t accept my child. One day I want to talk to my son and “get things off my chest”. I find many people to be hypocritical.

*This interview was first published on Kaos GL’s issue no. 139 on “Family”.

 

Film: Hatewalk

Director Serkan Çiftçi focuses on LGBTI individuals’ struggle through the story of trans woman Deniz who lives in Mersin. The director says, “maybe hate does not end in these lands but neither does humanity and it won’t die.”

Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 10.00.34.pngSource: Murat Emir Eren, XOXO The Mag, Gacı Gibi* (“Hatewalk”), http://www.xoxothemag.net/post/10385/serkan-ciftci-gaci-gibi

Hatewalk, a documentary on trans woman Deniz who experienced a horrible hate crime and LGBTI individuals’ struggle for rights in the southern city of Mersin, will be screened at the 16th !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival. We spoke to the film’s director Serkan Çiftçi about the film and the filming process.

How did you meet Deniz and the other trans individuals in the film? How did you shape Hatewalk?

Deniz is a sex worker who was subjected to a hate crime and barely made it out alive. The incident was widely known at that time in Mersin. Ece and Berfin (Esmeray) share a flat with Deniz, they are trans sex workers and activists, members of the Mersin 7 Colors Association. We set up an appointment with Ece and Berfin at the hairdresser you see in the film. We had a chat there. They were very casual. They were willing to be the subjects of the film. I guess we grew on each other that day.

But I should say, we went through many tests at the association until we got that appointment. There are many films on LGBTI [people] that are yet to be completed. It didn’t seem likely to them that a non-LGBTI person can represent them and make a decent enough film. First we convinced the young folks at the association. Then Yağmur Arıcan, the chair and Figen. We had quite the trial. But eventually we got along. Maybe that was the reason why they acted so casually at the hairdresser’s that day.

Anyway we made it into the house. At first Deniz didn’t take to the idea. After a few visits she got used to us. They were three people. We were also three people. We built a mutual trust. And I guess we also managed to become friends too. It was very interesting to be with trans sex workers during Deniz’s treatment. This is an LGBTI association that is a pioneer in the region and their struggle that overflows to the streets is remarkable. The conditions allowed us to follow two stories at once. We initiated the shoot with this idea. Imagining that Deniz would be walking without her crutches in 2014 Istanbul Pride Walk, we planned a shoot for a period of there and a half to four months and started working.

Hatewalk is full of ‘talking heads’ and interviews; it’s not an informative documentary neither does it prompt us into a certain perspective, it is a documentary that rather follows certain ‘testimonies’. Did you go for such a style when you started the project? Or did it follow a path of its own? How much of your vision could you realize?

When I started shooting the film, I didn’t know what we’d encounter or what kind of story would emerge but I was certain of its style. It was a matter I didn’t take lightly. One thing I didn’t want to see in the film was a talking head. I wasn’t [planning] to film an interview. I wanted something like a fiction film, one scene after another… Working within the conventions of classical narrative, with a time that flows chronologically, aiming for a continuity… I will use this phrase, because I think it brings a smile: the wish to be ‘a fly on the wall’ and capture the audience – the feeling was there before the film.

Hatewalk really challenged me. Even when you have a script and a mise-en-scene, the film never turns out to be what you imagined. When you consider the field we were in, it was like we were in an away game. But the sincere friendships we built formed this style. Berfin’s help made our progress easier. We planned two strong finales, it would be self-explanatory if I say we couldn’t shoot either. We’re talking about an amateur, low budget production, without funding. Although I couldn’t shoot it the way I wanted, I’m happy with the outcome.

There is an increase in the number of films in the LGBTI Films category as well as LGBTI film festivals and this is great. But some of these films put LGBTI individuals and negative, painful events side by side. While this creates emotion, it also constantly creates a negative perception and runs the danger of agitation. Hatewalk, however, does not give much credit to this side and instead chooses to explain these negativities in a rather positive way. Was this a decision when you were starting out the film? Are there projects you were inspired by?

The fact that Deniz experienced an event with major injuries that could have ended her life gives her great grief. I was deeply affected by her continued joy despite it all. All the other characters are joyous, funny, sincere people. I laughed a lot with them and can say I had a good time. I think people shouldn’t lose their joy. Let it not be misunderstood when I say we laughed and had fun. There were times when I lost my breath, could not speak a word, and when I was torn to pieces. When we consider the harshness of their life, positivity is part of their nature.

This is precious to me because I wanted to show what the characters live through, their emotions and pain without exaggeration. Agitation is a very easy path when telling such stories but it’s not a path I want to take. What opened my path was their joy. The energy at the association was high. They are young people who have hopes, who dream, who plan and have fun. Their positivity was my guide when trying to understand their sensitivities and create balance in the stories.

The positive ways you mention were founded on this. The decision to focus on the total struggle for their bodies, desires, and freedoms rather than darkness was a principled one. These decisions determined the storytelling language of the film.

What was the most difficult subject for you and the trans women in the film during the shoots?

I’m not sure what was difficult for them but many subjects were difficult for me. The house was a house where guests kept coming. It was like a public space for LGBTIs. We would be 15 people in that small living room sometimes and many did not want to appear in the film. Laços [1] would come and go. There was also a fourth person in the house who did not want to be in the film. We had major challenges when setting up the cameras. Filming outside was even more difficult. You can’t imagine how much we were cursed at. We had to combat many difficulties. We managed to overcome the technical problems during the edit.

The scene where Deniz visits her family is probably one of the most moving events in the film. What did you experience there? Were you affected by her family’s treatment of Deniz?

In that scene, Deniz talks about her mother’s death and says, “I started primary school and two days later, my mother died.” I was deeply affected by the way she spoke about such a tragic event, in a simple tone. I thought there must be so much pain accumulated in there that she forgot to rebel against such an unfortunate event. She lost her family when she was very young.

In that village, that house, she was raised by her older sister. She’s like an angel and maybe the remedy of such a calamity. She’s such a woman that she raised two generations by herself, a mother whose hands are to be kissed. The children there are the second generation. Deniz and the rest are the first. She probably fed 30 people that day. May God give her a long life, I’m sure she’ll raise the next generation as well. I’m also sure that she’d teach humanity to us all. Deniz is from that house, the uncle of the kids. How can we not be moved by how she treats Ece and Berfin? Especially when we are after trying to understand and explain the violence and hate people produce without knowing each other…

Maybe hate does not end in these lands but neither does humanity and it won’t die. When we look at the solidarity in the film, the doctors and nurses, we understand how holy love is. The phrase “hate is overcome by love” belongs to one of the characters in the film. It’s no coincidence that we focus on the positive.

What else would you like to add about the project, anything you think could have been better?

I would have liked to include Laços [1], gacıs [2] who have been their neighbors and friends, men who have been lubunya [3] friendly. We filmed them, but could not include because we could not acquire permission to do so. I could have included lubun vocabulary more perhaps. Also, in certain scenes, we could not overcome problems about sound. I wish it could have been better. Actually, there were two characters I wanted to include in the movie. Ömrüm ve Figen. Both of them rejected being main characters in the movie. After we finished filming, first Figen, then shortly after Ömrüm departed from this world. We could not have prevented Ömrüm’s departure perhaps but things could have been different for Figen. This remains as a blow to my heart. I doubt it will heal. I dedicate Gacı Gibi to them. I hope the movie will reach the audience and be appreciated. More importantly, I hope the movie, at the least, manages to beat out the transphobia that is responsible for the cruelty they are exposed to every second in their merciless life.

[1] Laço- Adult top, gay or straight, between the ages of 20 and 30
[2] Gacı- Woman.
*The literal translation of the title “Gacı Gibi” is  “Like Women.”
[3] Lubunya- Effeminate bottom